Disabled Parking

Disabled parking (previously known as handicapped parking) has been created for people who have a mobility problem and find it difficult to get to get out of the vehicle in a regular space or find it difficult to get to places from the parking area. This could be anything from an actual physical disability which limits the ability to walk to a cardiac or respiratory problem that restricts breathing.
In the UK, you will see allocated disabled spaces at most places where there is a parking lot. These spaces should be close to the entrances and should be wider spaces. This allows for people who require equipment to mobilise, such as a wheelchair or walking frame, to have enough space to use it from the car.
You must have a blue disabled badge to park legally in these spaces. The badge will be allocated to the disabled person, not the car owner. This means that the disabled person needs to be using the vehicle when it is to be parked in one of these spaces.
People with a blue badge can also park on single and double yellow lines in England and Wales. However consideration still needs to be taken as to where they park to ensure it does not cause a problem for other traffic. I have observed a car with blue badge parked on a double yellow in such a position that it made it extremely difficult for a coach to negotiate a corner. This in turn caused a long line of backed up traffic.
Some people have a disabled space outside their house. This is not assigned to them. Anyone with a blue badge can park in it and there are times when anyone can park in it. Hopefully your neighbours would be considerate and leave it free. Occupational Therapists are not able to make recommendations for disabled spaces on the street, this has to be done through your local authority highways agency. The Occupational Therapist could support your application with a letter.
You can also use your blue badge abroad in countries in the European Union.
Throughout the UK, you can apply for a blue badge if you have a need. This is done differently in different parts of the country. It is generally done through the DVLA or your local authority and it is becoming more likely that it will be an OT or physiotherapist, rather then GP, that will carry out the assessment.
For more information on blue badges, and how to apply for a blue badge for disabled parking, please follow this link: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/disabledpeople/motoringandtransport/dg_4001061